Congresswoman Bono Mack on the Campaign Trail
As is the case every two years, Rep. Mary Bono Mack is on-the-go -- trying to win another election.
"Thank you. Thank you," repeated the congresswoman as she greeted volunteers during a recent visit to Republican Headquarters in Indio.
Bono Mack is trying to win the race for the 36th Congressional District and an eighth term in Congress.
"I think you can sense the enthusiasm out there. People are getting fired up," said Bono Mack to a supporter.
In fact, supporters on both sides are pretty fired up.
This looks to be Bono Mack's toughest re-election campaign yet. Some analysts say her race with challenger Dr. Raul Ruiz is too close to call.
The race is getting lots of national attention and money. Between campaign ads and contributions -- around $5 million have been spent.
"It's much bigger than either of us two candidates. There's a whole host of outside interests putting money in here and messaging in here. In that sense, it's a much different race than I've ever had to run," the incumbent said.
But some attacks against the congresswoman remain the same.
"Either I'm 'Photo-Op Mary' or I'm on too many red carpets -- I've gone Washington. I've been through this before. It didn't work last time and I know the voters are smarter than I think my opponent gives them credit for," she said.
Days earlier, the Ruiz camp attacked Bono Mack's record on women's issues. But she said the so-called 'war on women' has proven to be hollow.
"Women care about the economy right now. They care about security -- national security, economic security. They care about time with their family. That's what women care about," said Bono Mack.
As a legislator, the congresswoman has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse. She did it again during a recent health summit in Palm Desert.
"It's actually good for me because I can take my mind off the campaign and focus on an issue I care so much about," she said.
But this late in the game, the campaign is consuming.
For now, there will be a lot more hugging, handshaking and posing for pictures. Every vote counts in this race.
And the congresswoman believes she'll be among many winners for the GOP on election night.
"I believe we'll easily hold the House. I believe Mitt will win the White House and we're going to have to stay tuned to see what happens in the Senate," Bono Mack said.
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